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AT&T Lose iPhone Exclusivity in the US as Verizon Cash In on The Growing Smartphone Market

Mon 10 Jan, 2011 // Firstnumber Team

In a move which is expected to double iPhone sales in the US, it appears likely that network provider Verizon will be given permission to sell the Apple iPhone this year. The company have already been selling iPads throughout the Verizon Wireless stores as of October this year, however, at the CES in Las Vegas on Friday, Verizon released a statement which invited journalists and enthusiasts to: “Join us as we share the latest news.”

Verizon's chief executive announced last week in Las Vegas that the company planned to have 10 new devices in store by the middle of the year, including four new smartphones.

The deal held between Apple and AT&T began in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone, with the exclusive rights to sell the product in the US bestowed upon the firm for 5 years. Yet, only four years later we see the early arrival of Verizon on the scene, and with it the need for the production of a phone compatible with Verizon's cellular network.

Although this would result in the creation of two production lines – one for the Verizon iPhone and one for all others – it is believed that Apple have little choice given the growing Android sales on the Verizon network.

For AT&T, it will not be the end of the world; the network will have been preparing studiously for this moment for the past four years. However, it is inevitable that an initial negative impact will be felt by AT&T.

For starters, AT&T recently hiked up the cost of terminating one's contract, a shrewd move given the events which were to unfold just a matter of months later. In addition to this, the cost of moving from the UMTS 3G to the less prevalent CDMA service on which the Verizon network relies will not be cheap.

On the other hand, AT&T has managed to formulate a massively negative reputation for itself within the US market: in December the company was named as the worst mobile carrier in the USA in a survey of almost 60,000 people. Another study carried out around the same time also found that around 17% of 10,000 respondents would switch from their current AT&T contract to a Verizon iPhone should it become available. So that's at least 1700 customers AT&T can expect to hear from soon.

If you own an iPhone and live in the US, or have friends and family living in the states, at least you can get cheap international mobile calls with Firstnumber. Cheap calls to the USA start from just 1p per minute.

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